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News Roundup: New UK Author Clare Lydon, Hild Named as Nebula Finalist, Cover Sneak Peeks, Reviews, and More!

27 Feb

The daffs and crocuses are out, the sun is shining (at the time of writing this anyway, I can’t guarantee what it’ll be doing at the time of posting!) and spring seems to be in everyone’s step. So hang up your winter coat, grab a nice brew, and settle down with the news for a few minutes. You’ve earned a break, y’know…

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london callingFirst up, a big, sunny welcome to new London-based author Clare Lydon, whose début novel London Calling is out on 28th February. You can read more about Clare over on our Authors page, and the synopsis for London Calling goes like this:

“When the plane took off, I wondered what Karen was doing, if she was happy, knew I was leaving or wanted me back. Whatever, it was too late now. I was gone…”

Jess Sharp is at a crossroads – back in London, living in her parents’ spare room, jobless and single. Not quite the irresistible package she was aiming for at age 32. One night, things take an upward turn when she meets someone who could be a game-changer. However, everything in her riotously chaotic life seems to get in the way, including her best friend’s wedding, far too much tequila and the ghosts of girlfriends past. The course of true love has never been so injury-prone. Will Jess eventually overcome her romantic ineptitude and find her happy ever after? Or will she continue to trip over her own feet in the race for romance?

We’ll be hosting a Q&A with Clare in the next couple of weeks, so keep your eyes peeled for that.

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Another author with new work pending is Rebecca Buck, whose short story collection A Queer Sort of Justice: Prison Tales Through Time will be released by Bold Strokes Books on September 1st 2014.

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a place somewhereNever one to rest on her laurels, RJ Samuel has been busy tweaking the cover of her fourth novel, A Place Somewhere,  which is due out in March. Until we get a concrete release date, here’s the blurb to whet your appetite. Good to see you got rid of the croc on the cover, RJ!

How far would you go? Would you lie to protect the innocent? ALEX HART risks everything to be with her online girlfriend of two years and moves from Ireland to America. But the unthinkable happens and she is emotionally and financially ruined. Devastated, she turns her anger and betrayal into a mission to root out those who deceive the innocent online. When a mother pleads for Alex to protect her daughter from an online predator in Ireland, Alex must become what she hates. How far will Alex go before losing herself in her own web of deception?

For our readers on the other side of the pond, RJ seems to have conquered her fear of flying and will be winging her way over to Portland for the Golden Crown Literary Society Conference in July. More on that closer to the time, no doubt.

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nicola griffithA rousing round of applause now for Nicola Griffith‘s Hild, which has been nominated for the prestigious Nebula Awards in the category of Best Novel. The Nebula Awards ® are voted on, and presented by, active members of Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, Inc. Safe to say, if your name’s on the list of finalists, you’re in very good company. The 49th Annual Nebula Awards weekend will be held May 15-18th, so that’s plenty of time for Nicola to pick out something posh to wear…Good luck!

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FrogMusicWhile we’re on the subject of lists, Cosmopolitan magazine has just listed Emma Donoghue‘s Frog Music as one of 10 Books By Women You Have To Read This Spring:

With Frog Music, a literary crime novel fixated on human darkness, Donoghue proves herself endlessly inventive. It’s based on the true story of Jenny Bonnet, a frog-catcher who was murdered in San Francisco in the mid-1870s. Donoghue nails both the period details and the atmosphere — think sweltering heat waves, dumping grounds for unwanted babies, and smallpox epidemics. This is the kind of book that will keep you up at night and make you smarter. 

Frog Music is published in the UK on 27th March.

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Cherry PottsA couple of dates for the diary now, with an evening of Feminist Fables & Folk Tales taking place on Wednesday 12th March at the Ivy House, Nunhead, 7.45 p.m. The event, to tie in with International Women’s Day, will feature Catherine Blackfeather on Sleeping Beauty, Cherry PottsThe Bone Box, Emily Cleaver‘s The Frog,  and Jelena Ćurčić with a couple of Serbian folk tales. There will also be a Flash from the Floor, which is your opportunity to tell a feminist folk tale in 100 words or less… For more information, see the Facebook link above.

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For those folk who live some way above the Watford Gap, Chinley Book Group presents A Life of Crime, an Evening with Val McDermid on Wednesday 30 April 2014, 7.30pm. Tickets are £10 (includes cheese and wine!). For more details, including contact information for purchasing tickets, see our Events page.

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guiltyheartkindlecover-186x300Planet of the Books has been casting their beady eye over Jade Winters‘ latest release Guilty Hearts. Their reviewer gave it top marks and had this to say about the book:

The emotions of the two women are very well written, as I was reading this book I actually felt like I was there, living right beside them. I laughed when they laughed, cried when they cried & wanted them both to hurry up & realise they wanted to be together…

This is a fantastic story, it is very well written with great character portrayal & sub-plots. I had never read any of Jade Winters’ work before but after reading this I will definitely be added more of her books to my reading list.

You can read the full review here.

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lesfic downunderA few weeks ago, we mentioned setting a trend in regional specific LesFic blogs. Since then, the Canadian LesFic site The Moose Hall has launched itself onto t’Internet, as has LesFic Down Under, which is “your hang-out for Lesbian Fiction in the Southern Hemisphere. On our bookshelves you’ll find links to Australian, New Zealand, South African, Southern Pacific, and Tasmanian (oops, sorry, they’re part of Australia, aren’t they), authors and their books.” 

You can say “g’day” to both new endeavours by hitting the links.

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Cari HFinally this week, it’d be a bit stupid of me to chat about everyone else’s news and not mention that Ylva Publishing are hosting a Spotlight Interview with me over on their blog. I had a great time answering a bunch of fun, varied questions, with superpowers, blubbing along to Tumbledown, my slight overbite, and why I write, all getting a look in:

I’ve always written for my own entertainment, and being published hasn’t changed that. Writing a long story is like having my favourite novel play out in my head for a year or so, except that I get to create everything in it, put words into my characters’ mouths, and decide how things turn out. I love the challenge and the freedom of that. 

You can read the full interview at the above link.

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That’s yer lot for this week, I hope the sun is still shining!

Daffodil

News Roundup: Awards for UK Authors, Events, Reviews, Blogs, and a REALLY Cute Dormouse.

15 Jan

Good morning from a perpetually windy, rainy and murky UK LesFic. Fortunately, we Brits have never been prone to letting the weather get us down, and it’s been a busy week as authors shake off festive fatigue, grab hold of 2014 and give it a good old shake…

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crin claxtonStarting with something to shout about, as two UK authors were recently nominated for the American Library Association Over The Rainbow BooklistOver the Rainbow Books is a bibliography that reflects the LGBT experience and is meant for general adult readers. Books on the list are read and recommended by the Over The Rainbow Committee of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and transgender roundtable of the American Library Association. 

Finding their way onto this auspicious list were Crin Claxton‘s The Supernatural Detective and Nicola Griffith‘s Hild.

The final list will be announced in coming weeks, and all the nominees can be found here. Congratulations to Crin and Nicola.

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the january flowerFurther congrats are due to Orla Broderick, who was awarded a 2014 New Writers Award for her début novel The January Flower.

The Scottish Book Trust’s New Writers Awards highlight some of the most affecting, exciting and engaging new writing in Scotland. Selected from over 300 applications, the New Writers Awardees are the pick of this year’s Scottish literary talent. You can find out more about Orla and read a sample from The January Flower at the award website, and we will be hosting a guest blog and giveway from Orla later this week.

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VGLeeJoining in all these early January celebrations is VG Lee, who scooped the gongs for Best Author and Best Standup Lesbian Comedian in the Golden Kitty Awards. Her “unfestive” evening Bah Humbuggers also received an honourable mention for Best Local Event, UK. A round up of all the recipients is available at this link. Congrats Val!

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manda-scottIf your new 2014 calendars are looking a bit forlorn and lacking, this might cheer them a little: Wednesday 12th March at 7 p.m. will see Manda Scott joining fellow historical authors Ruth Downie and Ben Kane for an evening event at Peterborough Central library. Tickets and more information are available at this link. 

For your readerly convenience, this and several other events have been added to our imaginatively titled Events Page.

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KePayneBSB author KE Payne has just announced that she has sealed a deal for her latest book:

Chuffed to say I’ve recently signed a contract with the wonderful Bold Strokes Books for my new novel, Once The Clouds Have Gone. It’s due for publication in October. Blurb to follow. When I’ve written one, that is…

KE, at least you have a title for your book. If anyone has suggestions for a sort of romantic police procedural thriller set in the Peak District, feel free to send them my way…

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BSB_Secret_LiesA couple of blog updates now, and Amy Dunne has been reflecting on 2013 and the release of her first novel Secret Lies.

I found writing the book to be a very solitary experience. As the release date approached, I began to seriously panic and feel weirdly vulnerable. It’s one thing writing for enjoyment, but writing for other people’s enjoyment is something completely different.There are some gritty themes addressed throughout the story and so I had to try and accept that some readers just wouldn’t be a fan. As always, that’s easier said than done…although I do think I’m getting better at it.

You can read the full piece and find links to some reviews that you may have missed, here.

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playing passion's gameMeanwhile, over on the UK BSB blog Lesley Davis has been tackling the subject of sequels as she prepares to launch her follow-up to her 2011 novel Playing Passion’s Game:

When I wrote Playing Passion’s Game I was very aware that Trent and Juliet’s story would go on past that book. I already have ‘written’ it in my head. It was very hard for me to end their story because they had really taken a hold of my imagination. And I love them. I like reading about them myself. I have characters I like and am proud of, but now and again, there are some that come to mean more. Trent is one of them.

Playing in Shadow will be released in 2015. More details as we get them, but you can pass the time by reading Lesley’s blog here.

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200px-SlowRiver(1stEd)In a bit of a blast from the past, the Hugo & Nebula Science Fiction Review Project has been taking a closer look at Nicola Griffith‘s 1996 classic, Slow River. For good, thoughtful analysis from a science fiction POV, jump to this entry.

Each plot-line evolves just like that titular slow river towards its own realization and conclusion, and the present narrative reveals this most directly. Given its slow process of purifying the sewage and runoff it collects into drinking water, the futuristic waste treatment plant where Lore works literally is a slow river running just beneath the feet of the city it serves. It is unseen, but critical to the life and the health of that visible city. Thus, by the conclusion of the novel, all plot threads are elegantly unified under this metaphor.

Nicola has also been chatting with Tobias Carroll over at The Paris Review blog, where she had this to say about future works:

There are lots of novels I’d write. I would love to write about this country in pre-Columbian times. I would also love to write about the UK and Iceland a little later, like the ninth century. There’s another Aud book bubbling in the back of my head. I sometimes think about Ammonite, and what that might be like now. Ideas are cheap. They circle like planes running out of fuel. Whichever looks most important, I will bring that in to land when it’s time.

Read the full interview here.

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lesfic downunderFinally this week, we are proud to announce that we seem to have started a trend! If you fancy catching up with what Canadian LesFic authors are doing, keep an eye on this under construction website (I want a moose! Why don’t we have moose over here?), while on Facebook, LesFic Downunder has just launched to bring you all the news about Lesbian Fiction in the Southern Hemisphere (that’s Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and the Southern Pacific, for those who are as rubbish at geography as I am.) There’s a website pending for this group as well. And they have a kangaroo.

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Right, that’s about it for this week. And, seeing as we can’t really have a moose or a kangaroo, I’ll leave you with British native Muscardinus avellanarius, also known as the Hazel Dormouse, also known as OH MY GOD how cute is he?

hazel dormouse

News Roundup: Rainbow & Ultimate Planet Awards, Interviews with L.T. Smith and Amy Dunne, Hootenanny at Women and Words, and Lots More…

13 Dec

Happy Friday 13th! I’m sure if we all salute solitary magpies, touch a bit of wood, avoid walking under ladders, and be very careful whilst handling mirrors, we’ll get through just fine. So, without further ado, here is this week’s slightly superstitious news update…

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Stella Duffy, writer, actorKicking off with some splendid news, as the date (March 29th, 2014 – mark those calendars!) has finally been set for those of us in England and Wales who might want to marry our sweethearts but had previously had to settle for a civil partnership. Over on her blog, Stella Duffy posted a thoughtful and moving piece to commemorate what has been gained, but also what has been lost during the long campaign for equality:

Do remember, straight couples in your 70s, as you celebrate your golden wedding anniversaries, all those gay couples in their 70s who have been together just as long, and deserve the same celebratory joy, who will never live long enough to celebrate their own golden wedding anniversary.

Hear, hear. This is the link to the rest of the piece.

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rainbow awardMore things to celebrate now, with the winners of the Rainbow Awards being announced last Sunday. Representing the UK side of LesFic was Andrea Bramhall who scooped joint second place in Best Lesbian Début, and joint tenth in Best Lesbian Novel for Ladyfish, and myself as Desolation Point also got a podium finish with third place for Best Lesbian Thriller/Mystery.

Edited to add: I wrote this post with a bit of a day shift hangover and – despite thoroughly checking the list of winners for UK authors – managed to miss Barbara Davies entirely. Barbara’s License to Spy took second place in the Best LGBT Romantic Comedy category. Apologies for the oversight and congratulations!

There were loads of winners, runners up, and honorary mentions, so congrats to everyone whose book made it onto one of the lists. The full list of winners can be found here.

The Virtual Living Room will be holding a Rainbow Awards Party this coming weekend (14th and 15th December), where readers will be able to chat with participating winners and runners up at the Yahoo group.

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UltimatePlanetAwardAlso taking place this week were the Ultimate Planet Awards, where Kiki Archer scooped Independent Author of the Year, and Stella Duffy was named Published Author of the Year, with VG Lee getting an honourable mention in the same category. You can view the entire awards ceremony, and see the full list of winners here. Congrats, Kiki, Stella, and VG!

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cover_hearts-and-flowers-border_miniA couple of interviews for you now, and over at the Ylva website, L.T. Smith is the author in the hot seat for their Spotlight Interview. Whilst discussing such varied (dare I say, essential?) topics as “Curry or fish pie?” and “Supergirl or Wonder Woman—who is your favourite?”, LT also has plenty to say about her writing:

I write because I love doing it. There are times when I don’t, true. But just to sit and create a story makes me feel wonderful. I shut off from what is happening to me in the outside world and dip into the world of my own creation. A little like therapy, apart from the typos.

The interview is a lot of fun, and the whole piece is available at the link up there. On the same page, Ylva also announced that they will be publishing a revised version of LT’s Hearts and Flowers Border with a splendid new cover in Spring, 2014.

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BSB_Secret_LiesWith a brand new book out, Amy Dunne has been keeping herself very busy this month. She has an interview up at fellow BSB author Juliann Rich‘s blog, in which she discusses Secret Lies, life as a début author, and whether or not she watches Downton Abbey (no she doesn’t, because she has good telly taste!) There are also cute pictures of the destruction wrought when you leave animals in the same room as your Christmas tree…

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inseparableThis may not be a new book, but Emma Donoghue‘s Inseparable: Desire Between Women in Literature  (originally published 2010) has been newly released on Kindle in the UK with a very clever, eye-catching new cover.

In Inseparable Emma Donoghue examines how desire between women in literature has been portrayed, from schoolgirls and vampires to runaway wives, from cross-dressing knights to contemporary murder stories. Donoghue looks at the work of those writers who have addressed the ‘unspeakable subject’, examining whether such desire between women is freakish or omnipresent, holy or evil, heart-warming or ridiculous as she excavates a long-obscured tradition of female friendship, one that is surprisingly central to our cultural history. A revelation of a centuries-old literary tradition – brilliant, amusing, and until now, deliberately overlooked.

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hootenanny-day1With the festive season well under way, Women & Words are hosting their annual Hootenanny celebration. For the next 12 days (well 11 now, it kicked off yesterday) there will be loads of great freebies from a whole host of LesFic authors up for grabs. All you have to do is leave your name and email in the comments, and then keep your fingers crossed that your name comes out of the hat. It’s a rolling giveaway so be sure to keep checking the site to see what’s on offer each day. Good luck!

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PaleWingsProtectingPale Wings Protecting, Lesley Davis‘ paranormal thriller follow-up to Dark Wings Descending, has been reviewed at Lambda Literary, where Anna Furtado had this to say:

Pale Wings Protecting is a provocative paranormal mystery; it’s an otherworldly thriller couched inside a tale of budding romance. The novel contains an absorbing narrative, full of thrilling revelations, that skillfully leads the reader into the uncanny dimensions of the supernatural.

You can read the full text of the review at the first link.

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Phew, got through to the end without spilling any salt, standing on any cracks in the pavement, or opening a brolly indoors \o/ Also, bonus fun fact whilst surfing for superstitions: When you’ve finished eating a boiled egg, push the spoon through the bottom of the empty shell to let the devil out. On that note, have a lovely weekend, everyone 🙂

News Roundup: Mari Hannah Wins the Polari Prize, Nottingham’s Newest Book Shop, Interviews with Kiki and KE, New Novels, Reviews, and More!

21 Nov

And good morning! The fabulous British weather has put paid to our plans for the day, so I’m cunningly delaying reading through page proofs to bring you this week’s news. Never let it be said that I don’t make sacrifices for this site…

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Mari-Hannah-008First up this week, big congratulations to Mari Hannah, whose début novel The Murder Wall was awarded the Polari First Book Prize in a ceremony held at the Southbank Centre on November 13th. A piece written by Mari was subsequently featured in The Guardian, where she spoke about writing a crime novel with a lesbian protagonist and suddenly finding herself a “go-to person on lesbian issues.” Mari also has some encouraging words for any authors whose submissions suffer repeated rejections from publishers:

Monument to Murder cover imageDid I ever think about giving up? Hell, yes. I had to dig very deep to keep the faith. Fortunately, I had the financial means to keep going. Often, aspiring writers don’t. They work full-time, indulging in their passion whenever they can snatch a moment or two to write. Thank God for a patient agent like mine. If he had waivered, even once, I was sunk. He didn’t, so I ploughed on, determined to give Kate a voice.

You can read the full feature at the above link. Meanwhile, Monument to Murder, the fourth novel in the Kate Daniels series (it has been quite a busy year for Mari!) is released in hardback and on Kindle today.

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five_leaves_bookshop_openingFabulous news for anyone living in the Nottingham area, as the brand new Five Leaves independent bookshop is now open. I dropped the shop a line to find out what sort of books they had in stock:

Our lesbian books range from political/biography etc. to “literary” and “romance”. The section is clearly marked – or rather LGBT is marked and has various subdivisions including lesbian fiction and lesbian non-fiction. We also stock Diva and Curve (and Gay Times). The section is modest in size, but growing already!

The shop is open 10-5.30, six days a week (Mon-Sat), and is located at 14a Long Row in Nottingham city centre. Directions and a handy map can be found at the link. As bookshops are currently closing down at a rate of knots, it’s lovely to see a new one bucking the trend and opening instead!

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KikiArcherIn the last news, I mentioned the opportunity to send in questions for a video interview with Kiki Archer. Said video is now up and ready to view here. Take a peek and see who got to ask what, and how many people managed to make Kiki blush…

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KePayneSpeaking of interviews, KE Payne has been chatting to fellow author Jae over on Jae’s blog. In the Q&A piece, KE talks about the benefits and pitfalls of life as a full-time author, her current and upcoming novels, and the perils of setting herself a daily word count:

I never have a daily word-count as I don’t like to restrict myself, or ever want to feel like I’ve failed if I don’t match that word-count! As other writers will testify, words either flow like a river, or trickle out like a dried-up stream in summer. I write because I love it, and have never coped well when my back’s against the wall, because then I feel like I’m forcing it.

The interview is well worth a read and can be found here.

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guilty-hearts-187x300Someone else who likes to keep herself busy is Jade Winters, who has just posted details of her next novel on her blog. The novel is called Guilty Hearts, and the first part of the synopsis goes a little (well, exactly) like this:

When a doting husband becomes suspicious of his gorgeous wife’s true sexuality,  he decides to set a honey trap to reveal the truth, however painful.  Little does he realise that the honey trap is to leave a bitter-sweet taste for everyone… 

You can read the rest of the blurb at this link, and as soon as we have a release date for the novel we’ll let you know.

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playing passionNews of another upcoming release now, albeit one that won’t be around for a while yet, as Lesley Davis has recently announced that her next book Playing In Shadow is to be published by Bold Strokes Books in early 2015. In Lesley’s own words: “this is the sequel to Playing Passion’s Game so that means one thing….more Trent!! Game on!!!”

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OutLateWithFriendsThose of you who are quick off the mark can pick up an early Christmas treat at the moment, as Suzanne Egerton‘s début novel Out Late With Friends and Regrets is currently free on Kindle. I’m not sure how long this offer is valid for, so be sure to hit the link sooner rather than later.

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HILD_jacket_closerWith Hild now a whole week old, Nicola Griffith has apparently been “enjoying blinking and catching up with my reading (and sleep.)” She has, however, managed to find the time to compile two further Hild roundups, featuring links to all the interviews, reviews, and discussion pieces that have been posted to tie in with the novel’s release. Hop on over to Hild #3 and Hild #4 to read more.

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mosaic of airFinally this week, Cherry Potts‘ rereleased short story collection Mosaic of Air has been reviewed at Sabotage Reviews. The review discusses the enduring relevance of stories examining the era of the 1980s, and finds much to like about the collection:

Then there’s the reclaiming of myths. The great joy in reading a Feminist collection like this is the re-imagining, from Woolf to Winterson, Cherry Potts also reimagines Helen of Troy as a mere beautiful pawn in the powerplay of the ancient world, but who, like most women in today’s society, negotiates the system. If you read nothing else in this book you must read ‘Arachne’s Daughters’; this takes apart a myth about Arachne (a human) challenging Athene (the goddess)

The full text of the review is available at the above link.

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Righto, that’s yer lot for this week. I’m back off to the page proofs – wish me luck!

News Roundup: Help us Win Stuff, Free Stuff, New Stuff, P-Town Stuff, and Spooky Stuff!

4 Nov

Morning, morning! To compensate for last week’s lack of news (in truth, there wasn’t much going on, I was snowed under with Tumbledown edits, and Clare was snowed under with having a life!) we have a ginormous update for you this week. Loads of authors have been up to mischief, and there’s plenty of free stuff for you all to get your grabby hands on. So, where to start?

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nominatedLet’s start with us. And when I say “us”, I mean UK LesFic, which has been nominated for an Ultimate Planet award in the category of Blogger of the Year, over at the Planet London website. Huzzah! And, of course, thank you to all those who took the time to nominate the site. So what happens next? Voting for the shortlisted nominees is open here throughout November, and it would be rather fab if people would hop on over there and put a tick in our box (so to speak).

VG Lee, Stella Duffy, and Jackie Kay are nominated for Published Author of the Year, and also on the list are Clare Ashton and Kiki Archer, who are scrapping it out for Published Author of the Year (Independent).  Congratulations to all, and um…good luck to those trying to decide between the latter two 🙂

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onefootWhilst we’re on the theme of Ultimate Planet and Ms Archer, Planet of the Books (the literary offshoot of Ultimate Planet) recently reviewed Kiki’s new novel One Foot Onto The Ice, where they had this to say:

Well paced, and gentle, and sometimes very sexy, this romance offers some sweet moments as two polar opposite women find love and face their internal demons in a bid for love.

You can read the full text of the review here.

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the black houndSpooky stuff now, and Niamh Murphy has published a new short story for Halloween over on Wattpad. Complete and in three parts, The Black Hound tells the story of Isobel, forced to live in a crumbling manor where something lurks on the surrounding moors. With the arrival of the new lady’s maid, Kate, Isobel’s life is about to be altered, forever…

The story is free to read, and available at the link.

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Amy_Dunne_lgDébut Bold Strokes Books author Amy Dunne has a Behind the Writing interview up at her BSB author’s page, where she chats about what made her become a writer (“the gift of the gab”!) where she gets her ideas from, and what her family have had to say about the whole shebang (which sounds naughtier than was actually intended!)

They’ve been amazingly supportive—especially considering I’ve been telling them I was going to write a book for over ten years. My beautiful wife was the only person I trusted to read the first draft. She kept putting it off and making excuses, and only later she confessed it was because she was terrified it was going to be awful and she wasn’t sure how she’d break the news to me…

You can read the full interview at the first link, and with Secret Lies due for release in December there is a short excerpt from the novel in the November BSB newsletter.

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FinalistSMMore awards news for you, with Elisa Rolle running a month-long Treasure Hunt throughout November to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the Rainbow Awards. Each day, mystery excerpts from 6 of the shortlisted novels will be published. To enter, try to identify your chosen book in the comments. There’s no limit on how many books you can win, and you can keep entering until November 30th. Correct entrants will go into a draw at the end of the month. The books offered are a mix of e-books and paperbacks. You can find the entire list of novels at the link, and there are quite a few LesFic authors on it…

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the january flowerSticking with the theme of freebies, Orla Broderick‘s Polari-longlisted novel The January Flower is currently free on Kindle. The offer is open for five days, and the original announcement was made on Friday, so there should be a couple of days remaining for you to go and get yourself a copy. The first link is the UK link, and the US link (before we get our arses kicked by our US readers!) is here.

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See Right Through Me- Draft2With the joyous prospect of Christmas shopping creeping onto the horizon, November seems set to be a lively month for LesFic releases. LT Smith has been talking about her new novel See Right Through Me over on the Ylva website:

When I was writing See Right Through Me, I kept on thinking about how we sometimes doubt the most obvious good things in our lives. How we question those three little words—not “I love you” exactly, but the three other little words that should come hand in hand with it. Trust, respect, and love. How sometimes our own actions can lead to negativity, lead to those other three words—jealously, insecurity, and heartbreak. I wanted to show what could happen if we found ourselves in that situation, what we could lose if we allowed our lack of confidence to encroach on love. Not the most pleasant experience, believe me.

See Right Through Me has just been published, and you can read the full piece from LT here.

Sneaking in at the last minute is MORE FREE STUFF! Ylva have just announced that they have two e-book versions of See Right Through Me to give away. All you have to do to enter the draw is leave a comment at the foot of this page, or send an email to info@ylva-verlag.de Better get your skates on though; the closing date is 5 a.m. Tuesday morning (how random!)

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GB-Cover1VT Davy, another author with a new book out, has been blogging about Deadlines, Rewrites and Getting it Out There

The biggest rewrite happened back in May following the passage through Parliament of the same-sex marriage bill. I never thought that it would go through. I thought that the bishops in the House of Lords would ensure that it was sent back down to the Commons to be revised. When it did pass, I spent 24 hours worrying about whether the novel that I’d worked on for seven months was now relevant. It didn’t take me long to realise it was, as the news about the battles for equal marriage from the USA and Australia kept on coming.

And just before I hit post on this news, up went a guest blog from VT over on Women and Words, where she talks about the politics behind A Very Civil Wedding .

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NicolaGriffithThere are not one, but two new interviews – one video, one print – with Nicola Griffith talking about Hild. The print interview at The Coffin Factory includes a particularly lovely description of Nicola discovering Whitby for the first time:

In my early twenties I was living in Hull, a depressed (and depressing) city in East Yorkshire. And one spring I needed to get out, get away for a few days. I hiked north up the coast, to a town called Whitby. I’d read Dracula so I was expecting the one hundred and ninety-nine steps up the cliff. I was expecting the great ruin of an abbey against the skyline. I wasn’t expecting what happened next…

To find out what did happen next and how it inspired the novel, hit the link.

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I.Beacham_lgClosing out this week with reports from three of our Brits who made the trip over to PTown for Women’s Week and then made it all the way back, safe and sound, to tell us about it. Over on the UK BSB blog, I. Beacham shares her insight into the benefits of Women’s Week:

So there’s a lot of lovely exchange going on all week and women meeting women and talking (and possibly other stuff, but I’m British and I don’t talk about sex). PTown is very relaxed and definitely a place every lesbian (reader or not) ought to go at least once in their lifetime. The place is alive, exciting, exhilarating.

She also gives some handy travel tips for anyone who might be considering making the trip next year: Is it easy to get to? Remember PTown is right on the far tip of the Cape, any further right and you’ll be a fish. 

Sage advice indeed. For more of the same, head here.

PTownJoining the BSB contingent was Andrea Bramhall, whose A Brit Abroad blog gives a comprehensive look into the panels and various hijinks that occur when a lot of lesbians gather in one rather small town:

Saturday was the last day of readings and signings. We were in the Provincetown Library and Vk Powell went into full cop mode trying to coral us all on the When Sparks Fly panel. Shelley Thrasher drafted in the considerable theatrical talents of Melissa Brayden and Carsen Taite to play characters in her reading. Carsen was meant to be playing a French woman but she had a decidedly German accent. It was hilarious. 

There are some lovely photos, and of course the rest of the tale, at the link.

Not to be outdone, RJ Samuel has posted a series of seven blog entries detailing her time in the States. From clicking on the link to buy plane tickets, to meeting online friends, playing wiffle ball, and of course, appearing on her first panel, RJ has left no stone unturned:

RJ Samuel reading on FridayI enjoyed the experience of relaxing and just reading my words aloud to what seemed like a group of interested friends. While planning the trip, I’d printed out 10 booklets of a short story and had promised them to the first five women who came up to say hi to me after each reading. On the spur of the moment, looking out at the audience, especially at the friendly face of Tonie, Kate’s partner, I wanted some way to thank them for listening, for being supportive. I asked for a hug instead and the wonderful hugs I got were another highlight of my trip. And a surprise for me and for anyone who knows how shy and introverted I can be.

Her epic blog starts here, and the links for the next entry can be found at the base of each page.

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And I think that’s about yer lot. If you’re off to a bonfire this week, wrap up warm, eat parkin, and try not to have anyone’s eye out with a sparkler 🙂

News Roundup: Stonewall Award Nominees, Jackie Kay in Sheffield, Spooky Fun at the Ivy House, Clare Ashton Interview, and much more…

18 Oct

With quite a few UK authors burning the midnight oil over at the Virtual Living Room last weekend and three hopping over the pond for Women’s Week, it’s a wonder there’s anything to report in this news post. But we like a challenge here at UK LesFic (unless it involves making something that resembles a brain covered in swiss rolls) and have discovered that there’s still plenty going on…

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charlotte-mendelsonWe’ll start this week by donning our posh frocks for the announcement of the eighth annual Stonewall Awards nominees. The awards are designed to acknowledge and celebrate those who have made a positive impact on the lives of lesbian, gay and bisexual people in Britain over the last 12 months.  Among the categories for Broadcast of the Year (obviously we’re rooting for the Great British Bake Off!) and Sports Award of The Year (Clare Balding is up for this one) is the award for Writer of the Year, where Charlotte Mendelson has made the list for Almost English. This is what the Stonewall Awards had to say about the work:

‘Longlisted for the 2013 Man Booker Prize Almost English is described by The Guardian as ‘beautifully written, warm, funny and knowing’. It follows a 16 year olds disjointed life, torn between an unhappy existence at a mixed boarding school and her life with her mother who lives under the overbearing presence of three elderly Hungarians.

The complete list of nominees can also be found at the link above.

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With ever dwindling numbers of bookshops, it’s great to see Nottingham based publisher Five Leaves opening a new independent store.  Five Leaves Bookshop will open mid-November in Nottingham centre.  As well as specialising in lesbian and gay books it will also stock history, politics and landscape, general fiction and poetry.  For more information about the shop, head over here.

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JK realityBit last minute this, but poet Jackie Kay will be appearing at the Off The Shelf literary festival in Sheffield tomorrow. During the day she will be exploring the theme of “Outside” with various guests, while the evening sees her across at the Crucible Studio theatre reading from her new short story collection Reality Reality. The full program for the festival and information on booking tickets can be found at the first link.

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NicolaGriffith

Those folks who like a blog post that prompts you to stand up and offer a rousing round of applause should head over to Nicola Griffith‘s latest entry, in which she has this to say about Hild’s sexuality:

Interviewers and reviewers have already asked me: So why is Hild a lesbian?

I say: First, she’s bisexual. Second, why the fuck not?

I am tired of having to have a reason for characters being queer. When my first agent told me that my proposal for Slow River was “not a selling outline,” I asked her to explain. She said, “Well, why does Lore [the protagonist] have to have a girlfriend?” I said, “Because she’s a dyke.” And fired her.

And if that doesn’t make you want to read Hild, I don’t think anything will!

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ArchnePressStorySessionsThose with a penchant for spooky fun, should plan to join Cherry Potts and VG Lee at The Ivy House in London on October 30th for a night of Halloween Tales, which sounds like a great event organised by Arachne Press. There will be readings by VG and Cherry and then a Flash from the Floor where anyone can read their 100-word story whether carefully crafted beforehand or scribbled in the interval. For more details, head to the special Event page on Facebook.

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3901374Lesley Davis has been blogging at Women and Words about her new novel Pale Wings Protecting. She talks about how the story evolved around a character from Dark Wings Descending (book 1 of the Wings Series) and how the main characters from that book muscled in too. Here’s a snippet:

When the character of Blythe Kent was introduced in “Dark Wings Descending” I knew I wanted to have that character in her own story. The FBI agent would play a small role in her best friend Detective Rafe Douglas’s investigation, being the profiler who unwittingly profiles something more than just an evil in a human form. But whereas Rafe and Ashley Scott’s story would involve all manner of heaven and hell, I had originally plotted that Blythe’s story would just be a crime book, without the added supernatural twist.

You can read the rest of the post here.

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clareashtonAnd rounding up this news is a fab spotlight interview with Clare Ashton over at Ylva Publishing, where Clare reveals a longed-for super power, her lottery dreams, and exactly how much of herself is in her characters:

Less than some people think, more than I’d like to acknowledge (even to myself).

Of course, my time as a high-class escort was vital for writing After Mrs Hamilton (Mum—this is a joke).

The interview is a great, fun read and can be found by bobbing over here.

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Speaking of bobbing, is anyone looking forward to Halloween quite as much as I am? Only 13 more days till I’ll be carving up pumpkins, decking the porch with icky stuff, and stealing all the Haribo I’ve bought for the nippers! We’re hoping to bring you a special Halloween feature for that week, so keep your fingers crossed we can round up enough authors who are willing to share their scares…

News Roundup: UK Authors at the VLR, Rainbow Awards Finalists, Sarah Waters’ New Novel, Giveaways Galore & Loads More

3 Oct

Even if the weather stays mild, there are still indisputable signs that summer’s over and done with. The nights start to draw in, the telly gets a hell of a lot better, The Great British Bake Off has everyone craving CAKE (and Sue Perkins!), politicians return from their holidays and immediately resume their roles of acting like dicks, and Christmas puds hit the shelves in Asda.

In terms of UK LesFic, the signs look a little like this: new books come flying out, everyone’s suddenly doing stuff, planning stuff or writing stuff, Tig and I are chasing around news snippets like mad things, the awards season kicks off, and the news subsequently expands its waistline like someone sitting down to a lunch of pie, chips and beans.

Better get started then, eh?

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717930First this week, an early heads-up about a special Spotlight Weekend for UK LesFic authors at the Virtual Living Room. Running from 11th-14th October, the weekend will feature a whole host of familiar faces answering questions and chatting to readers and other authors. And who might these familiar faces be?

Kiki Archer (But She is My Student, Instigations, Binding Devotion and One Foot on the Ice)

I Beacham (Sanctuary and The Rarest Rose)

Andrea Bramhall (Ladyfish and Clean Slate)

Crin Claxton (Scarlet Thirst and The Supernatural Detective)

Rachel Dax (After the Night, The Legend of Pope Joan Part I and Part II)

Suzanne Egerton (Out Late with Friends and Regrets)

Cari Hunter (Snowbound and Desolation Point)

VG Lee (The Woman in Beige, The Comedienne, Always You Edina and Diary of a Provincial Lesbian)

Niamh Murphy (Mask of the Highway Woman, Delicious and A Fairy Tale Retold)

R.J. Samuel (Heart Stopper, Falling Colours, Casting Shadows and In Your Words)

Jade Winters (143, Talk Me Down from the Edge and A Walk into Darkness)

My lovely blog buddy Clare Ashton will be moderating, along with Beni Gee and Terry Baker. If you want to come along and join in the fun, click the link at the top, which will take you to the group’s main page.

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RJSamuelAuthorPicFor those stubborn souls who may need more incentive to sign up to the VLR, R.J. Samuel is currently running an exclusive VLR giveaway for the first two novels in her Vision Painter series, Falling Colours and Casting Shadows. Members can choose one of the books, and the offer is open until October 7th.

R.J. also had this to say about her upcoming trip to Women’s Week in the USA:

“I will be doing two readings in Provincetown on the GCLS panels – Thursday panel 11:00 am to 11:35 am and Friday 11:35 am to 12:10 pm. I’ll be giving away 10 ‘Limited Edition’ J printed copies of my short story In Your Words (including excerpts of Heart Stopper and Falling Colours) to the first 5 women at each reading to come up to me after the readings and say hi. (And yes, this is a blatant ploy to avoid being the only author standing alone twiddling my thumbs after the panel readings J ).”

Fans who may have been looking forward to new work from R.J. should check out her latest blog post, which gives a bit of an insight into her writing and why she’s not quite as up to speed with it as she might have liked. Here’s hoping her muse is feeling slightly less bewildered but still finding time for plenty of cupcakes…

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FinalistSMEarlier this week, the Rainbow Awards announced their Honourable Mentions (books scored 36+/40 by at least one judge), swiftly followed by the full list of finalists for each individual category.

Honourable mentions went to Kiki Archer for Binding Devotion (Lesbian Contemporary General Fiction), Andrea Bramhall for Ladyfish (Lesbian Contemporary Romance) and Jade Winters for A Walk Into Darkness (Lesbian Mystery Thriller).  Joining them in the finals are: I. Beacham with The Rarest Rose (Lesbian Paranormal Romance) and me (Cari Hunter!) with Desolation Point (Lesbian Mystery Thriller).

A full list of finalists can be found at the link, and the winners will be announced on December 8th. Congrats and best of British to all 🙂

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A4Another busy little soul at the moment is Kiki Archer, who has been celebrating the release of her new novel One Foot Onto The Ice by chatting to Lucy Jo Amos over here at Lucy’s blog, and taking part in a video interview with When Sally Met Sally, where she faced the lose-lose scenario of choosing between twerking or eating a freeze-dried worm.

Worm. Every time. I do not twerk.

You can catch the interview at the link. Meanwhile, in a new review, Terry Baker had this to say about One Foot Onto The Ice:

One of the really great things about this book is the laugh out loud humor throughout. I’m only too pleased I read this book indoors. It’s hilarious in places. I would defy anyone to read the scene with Susan and Jenna in the bathroom without laughing. This is a brilliantly written scene as it shows Jenna in a really different light. So, there is a whole range of emotions across the board to be experienced between the pages.

The full review can be found here.

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HanselGretalSticking with reviews for the moment with another of Terry’s, this time for Jade WintersA Walk Into Darkness:

This well written mystery, murder, intrigue, romance had me totally hooked from the very first page through to the last page. To say it is a page turner is an understatement. I couldn’t get through the book fast enough to find out how it ended. I knew Jade Winters was a talented writer from reading some of her short stories. But, she has really excelled herself in penning this full length book that kept me on the edge of my seat throughout.

And over at Rainbow Book Reviews, they’ve been singing the praises of Niamh Murphy‘s fairytale reworking Gretel:

This is a truly imaginative, inventive, and ingenious re-telling of such a beloved classic. I felt completely immersed as if I shared Gretel’s mind and body. I became enthralled by Maeve and yes, possibly bewitched. I applaud the brilliance of this short story and completely recommend it!

As always, the full reviews are available at the links.

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598px-Sarah_WatersThe drip feed of details about Sarah Waters‘ new novel continues over at her website. We now have a title, an era and an indication of what the book will be about. The Paying Guests (due for release in autumn 2014) will be set in the 1920s, and its blurb currently reads like this:

It is 1922, and London is tense. Ex-servicemen are disillusioned, the out-of-work and the hungry are demanding change. And in South London, in a genteel Camberwell villa, a large silent house now bereft of brothers, husband and even servants, life is about to be transformed, as impoverished widow Mrs Wray and her spinster daughter, Frances, are obliged to take in lodgers.

For with the arrival of Lilian and Leonard Barber, a modern young couple of the ‘clerk class’, the routines of the house will be shaken up in unexpected ways. And as passions mount and frustration gathers, no one can foresee just how far, and how devastatingly, the disturbances will reach…

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Speaking of upcoming novels, LT Smith has a new Facebook page, where she has just announced the forthcoming publication of her novel/novella (it’s 40,000 words in length) Puppy Love. The book looks set to join See Right Through Me in a November 2013 release. A cover is still pending but the blurb can be found on the New & Upcoming Releases page. All proceeds from the book will go to charities to help puppies in need. Aww.

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GB-Cover1It’s almost time for dinner (it was tea-time when I bloody started!) so a quick mention of two current giveaways:

V.T. Davy is running a Mystery Voice Twitter competition to win copies of A Very Civil Wedding. To enter you need to click the link, identify the voice and tweet your answer before October 6th. To be notified of the results, follow @LiberationBooks (she says, like she knows what the hell she’s talking about – I tweet about as much as I twerk!)

Finally, for US readers only, Stella Duffy has a GoodReads giveaway for copies of her novel Parallel Lies. The competition runs until 15th October. Sorry UK peeps, I don’t make the rules.

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BSB_Scarlet_ThirstOkay, when I said that was the last thing I lied, because I stupidly checked Facebook JUST IN CASE I’d missed anything and there was Crin Claxton telling folks that her revised version of lesbian vampire romp Scarlet Thirst is now going cheap on amazon (UK and US) for a limited time. And when I say cheap, I mean £3.32, which is a bloody – no pun intended – bargain, and perfectly timed for Halloween.

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Right, I’ve put my blinkers and the kettle on. If anyone else does anything exciting, it’ll have to wait till next week…